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Two rural schools on Kodiak Island are facing the ax and will be closed down if enrollment does not increase, one of them for the second time, the Kodiak Island Borough School Superintendent Larry LeDoux has revealed.
According to the reports, if attendance falls below 10 students in any given year, schools face closure at that cut-off point that dictates the state funding. That funding totals around $300,000.
The community of Karluk, on the northwest side of the island, has only eight school-aged children, and the community of Port Lions on the north side of the island, only sports five school-aged children for the coming school year.
The initial assessment takes place every October-November, at which time the preliminary numbers are submitted to the state, Amber Schmidt of the rural schools said.
Chiniak school, at the end of the Kodiak road system, was closed down in 2000 but has since re-opened. The Karluk school had also been shuttered in the past, but, also re-opened.
The community of Larsen Bay expressed concerns of their school closing in recent months, and are working to assure that their enrollment stays above the 10-student cut-off. That community currently has 13 students, with one graduating this Spring.
Lack of jobs in the rural areas of the state directly contributes to many of the school closures throughout the state.
When a rural school does close down, parents can obtain training and resources to homeschool their children, and AKTeach also has online correspondence courses available.